We believe in Armenia’s technological future and we do think that this is a good branding, and we of course cannot stand aside, Manager of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris Armenia Vahe Danielyan told reporters during the second Vanadzor Engineering Forum-Expo.
Philip Morris Armenia was a co-organizer and participant of the Vanadzor Forum and presented company’s contribution to the development of new technologies.
“Today we present not production, but development directions where Armenian scientists and engineers can work. We will look at others, as we believe in Armenia’s technological future and we do think that this is a good branding, and we cannot stand aside. We see what Armenia can offer to technology giants, and we try to bring our culture and technologies to Armenia,” he said.
Vahe Danielyan said that the company together with the National Polytchnic University of Armenia are opening the center that will deal with scientific projects cooridanted by Philip Morris International science center.
Phillip Morris company will work with the full range of the scientific potential of Armenia: physics, chemistry, microbiology, biology, DNA research. He also recalled that a month ago Microbiomics data analysis datathon took place.
“Our young students in biology and data analysis were trying to find some logic in the genome of a muscle, and by the way, out of eight groups who presented more or less logical approach, six were from Armenia, one was from India, and one from Japan,” he said.
Philip Morris Armenia general manager Natalia Mayorova told reporters that the company has high assessment of Armenia’s technological potential.
“The fact that Philip Morris is here proves this. It was the technolohical and research potential that made us sign a memorandum of understaning with the Armneian government and the largest universities YSU and National Polytchnic University back in 2007. And thanks to this potential we are founding a Philip Morris research and development institution. Besides, Philip Morris is providing assistance to a number of educational programs, including PhD and master’s program,” she said.
Juan Carlos Escobar, Philip Morris International (PMI) General Manager for Caucasus and Moldova, emphasized that many people still know them as a cigarette company but the truth is that “we are becoming technology and science driven company”.
“It’s a big change. We are here to show our science, to talk to other scientists, to talk to other engineers. We have some of our scientists here, to exchange ideas and to learn from them as well,” he added.
Mr. Escobar emphasized that in its scientific evaluation of the products , the company is guided by the same approach adopted in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the last decade the company spent about $5 billion on research of the smoke-free products. Together, the company has 430 world-renowned scientists and engineers from various fields.
“Research centers are located in Switzerland and Singapore only, and now we can say with great enthusiasm that we also establish a research center in Armenia. This is why we are here today to participate in the Engineering Forum-Expo,” he said.
Luca Rossi, PMI Director of Commodity and Intellectual Property, said they discovered Armenia a couple of years ago.
“The culture of innovation, technology and science is very strong in Armenia. This is the reason we decided to come and establish a research and development institution in Armenia as well as to develop an ecosystem that promotes scientific education. Today, we are present at the Engineering Forum to learn more about Armenia, to present our activities, and to establish background for further cooperation,” he said.
Bagrat Yengibaryan, Director Enterprise Incubator Foundation, told reporters that PMI is engaged in serious research programs in the areas of engineering, chemistry, biolgy, mathematics and physics. The company is creating a research center at the National Polytechnic University to help Armenian graduates.
“The next move of such organizations is to consider Armenia as a research center. I think Philip Morris can provide a serious impetus for further development of science in Armenia,” he said.
Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan and First Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies Hakob Arshakyan also participated in the conference. Talking to to reporters, Arayik Harutyunyan mentioned that the government is looking for international partners, transnational corporations that will come to Armenia.